the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero

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A kite-like wind turbine (airborne wind energy)

As I have blogged quite a bit about my kiting hobby, I wanted to share this video in the off-season (don’t have the $$$ for snow kiting):

This KQED news story is about new prototypes for airborne wind turbine technology, which should be able to utilize more consistent winds at higher altitudes. The primary examples featured are very kite-like, and I think that’s exciting as this is an entirely new application, at least at this level. (Kites have been used historically for aerial photography, weather forecasting, and other applications that have now been largely replaced by aeronautics, i.e., airplanes.)


About spring break/What A Week! (Intro to WAW!)

Been SO frightfully busy…

Lots has been happening:

– Kitemaking
– Kite Flying
– We have a house on contract (yes, the seller accepted our offer)!
– Cimmorene cuts off 11″ of hair to donate to Locks of Love and Princess gets hair trimmed as well
– Trip to Cat Tales Zoological Training Center near Spokane, WA and a visit to the (great)grandparents

Would jak be content to remain this brief? Nah. Keep reading– the next few posts or so will provide more details.

If you’ve gotten here before those posts have been made, try checking Flickr and see if I have uploaded the photos. Kitemaking and Kite Flying photos are already there. Please also feel free to visit my wife’s blog about her Locks of Love project.


I can still fly in the gateway to the sky!

This is a continuation of these two posts:
Gateway to the sky… am I afraid to fly?
I can fly!

I got in touch with Greg Greger again:

I haven't forgotten about you– just been busy lately, with as much kite flying as I can do.

I have photo evidence:
My kite-flying hobby

Line laundry and kite trains

(both photo sets at Flickr)

I would like to get together again, before my daughter goes back to school.  Let me know what your schedule is like next week?
This time, I think, we are going out to do some actual flying instead of kite making, as evidenced by his reply as follows:

Good to hear from you!
The Tri-City kite-flying scene needs encouraging and build up. My approach has been to put on numerous kite making sessions, especially in March and April. I did six locally in such places as Richland's Community house, Columbia Basin College, CREHST Museum, and a couple in the Ed Center of McNary Wildlife Refuge Education center near Burbank.
I enjoy retelling my kite making/tax fee experience from this April. For many years I have used a Burbank accountant to finalize my tax figures. I had done that and was waiting for him to say he had finalized them.  When he called, (during spring school break) the approach was, "Are you available Thursday?" I looked at my calendar and said that I was.  He then said, I want to hire you for that day. Turned out he had five visiting grand kids and wanted to occupy them with something interesting (while he did his tax work for customers).  He asked me to meet them at the McNary Ed. Center, make kites, then have dinner with them that evening.
All that happened, and they each had a Conover Eddy kite that they had successfully made and flown. After the dinner, he gave me my completed tax form, and the bill.  WITH A $100 deduction for my kite making services.
Since then, with arrangements by Sr. Marry Ellen (a nun I have known since she taught my kids when they were young at the local parochial school) of the Rose Marie house in Wapato I went there twice to do kite making with the visiting teachers from Mexico that she had arranged to come to hold classes for local kids, to teach them the legends and traditions of Mexico, where their parents had come from. I showed the teachers how they could teach kite making in the class room when they returned to Mexico. I taught making the simple Conover Eddy with the Spanish heritage kids, they tested them in the school corridors, then we flew them in a near by field.

[He continues on by saying that some family is coming into town next Monday, which details I am skipping for privacy reasons.  His plan is to do some fishing and kite flying that week with them– EDIT: so not this week.]

Keep Flying
Greg Greger

So I'll let you know how it goes– hopefully I can get some really cool pictures of some of the kites he and his wife made back in the day.

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Flight time August 19th, 2010

*sigh* Nothing too exciting here– I just managed to fly the macaw kite (which is the same design as the Pterodactyl) with help from the delta kite as a launcher.

Did not get any photos.  Perhaps later, on another day.  I did get my order from Prism, which included some new lineset straps, bridle hooks (which I'll use for line laundry), and a pin.  I will take photos of those soon as well.

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Flight time August 18, 2010

I did do some kite flying between today and my last entry.  But there isn't much to tell about then– it involved experiments with a windsock that needs metal parts removed and plastic wind spinners that were too heavy for the kites I have.

Today, however, well, I'll let a small selection of pictures illustrate that.

sitori6 bi-plane kite with delta launcherFun time is overbi-plane closeupTake your winder and stick itPrincess and the butterfly kiteBetter than Christmassitori6 Boy and the funky windersitori6 Pterodacyl kitesitori6 Pterodacyl kite sidesitori6 Butterfly kitesitori6 Kite triositori6 star kite with delta launchersitori6 Boy with Spectra stake windersitori6 Pterodacyl kite top and tails

I said "small" because this isn't all the pictures, by far.  As Cimmorene took most of them, I'll let her share– well, at best, I will edit in the link to the pictures at her Flickr account.

Not all the kites I bought today were flown, but most of them were.  I was bored and suspected Fred Meyer would be putting their kites on clearance as summer items.  SHAZAM!  Whattya know, yep, they were, at 50%– so each kite was about $5 US.

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Flight time July 27th, 2010: School spirit!

Click on the photos for descriptions and more information.

Princess and I went out first while Cimmy and Boy went to the laundromat to fill one of our water cooler bottles and one of the water jugs.  They joined us later after the water filling was done and brought the water jug so we'd stay well-hydrated in the summer heat.

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Flight time July 22nd, 2010: Line laundry

Two trips today, actually.  I'll call the first one a practice run, and the second one was when I could get some help with some photos.

A small selection of those shots are as follows:

The first two shots were taken by my daughter and the third I took, as she still has a difficult time with aerial shots.

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Father-in-law’s T-shirt kite

Photos explain something a lot better than words, so I asked my father-in-law to take pictures of the T-shirt kite he made, and I am sharing them with his permission.  The pant/trouser-shaped tails are not visible.  He took it to fly at Grayland Beach on their last vacation.  Although these pictures were not included in the photo set he took, you can find pictures of that vacation here at Flickr:

Vacation at Grayland Beach July 2010 (Set)

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Flight time July 12, 2010

Yes, that's right– flight time was yesterday.

I woke up very early in the morning (about 06:00) and saw that Borius was ready to play, so I left a note and got to flying.  The wind was quite strong, so I took turns between the Snapshot parafoil and the delta kite.  Last Friday, I went to the Grigg's/ACE Hardware department store (on a grocery trip with my daughter– we went to the Mex supermarket around the corner afterwards) and got some fishing line spinners.  The kite lines on the laser winders I use for the Snapshot are braided Dacron, so I wanted the hooks to spin free, because it tangles very badly if it winds too tight in the wind.

It worked very well, although I broke the line on the red winder.  Not a worry, since as it turns out, the red line is longer than the blue line.  It takes more work to equalize the lines, or rather, to make sure they are the same length in the air, but I still like the granular control with laser winders when flying the Snapshot.  Not surprisingly, the wind was pulsating as it so often does here, and so I eventually ended my time with the X-Kites delta.

That day a city employee was out fixing an irrigation pipe on the field.  He drove by at one point and asked if I had ever been out to Grayson Beach or to the International Kite Festival that was held there.  I said I hadn't, but that my in-laws had been, to both venues.  We shared some pleasantries about my hobby for a bit before he moved on.

After a few hours I wondered if I could find some nice spinners and windsocks to use as tails.  Into The Wind sells some but I was sure I could find something locally, on the spot.  I came home to find the rest of the family had finally woken up and I let them know I was going out to find something.  I did find some items at the Dollar Store for plenty cheap.  These photos are from our trip out to the field today, where the breeze was almost so light as to be non-existent, but hopefully this gives you an idea:

lick through for more information about each of them.  When I got home, I showed everyone my loot and asked Princess which one she thought would look best trailing from the delta kite.  She chose one of the windsocks, but once she saw the spinner with the butterfly on it, that was the one she wanted.  Good choice, I say, because that's what I was already thinking, too.

Since Cimmy had a medical appointment, I asked her to get Jak Jr. ready and so Princess and he joined me out for some good fun out on the field.  I made sure to get some sunscreen slathered on all of us.  It was a good thing I had picked some up the other day because the spray left with Cimmy and the car.  I'm sorry I couldn't get pictures of the delta in flight with the spinner tail.  It really, really works well, although you can hardly tell that pillowy thing looks like a butterfly dozens to hundreds of feet in the air.  (My masculinity is safe!)  Princess took some time flying it herself so I could watch after her brother.  We had a very nice time and if my energy was stronger and my time for flying was longer, I would have been out there all day long.

We came home for lunch eventually.  Princess stopped to ask the city employee (who came back again and again to work on the pipe) what he was doing and they talked a little bit.  Jak Jr. was obviously tired out, so he went down for his nap pretty easily once we got home. Then Princess and I went to the far corner of the apartment complex, where there was a wide patch of grass next to the city overflow ditch, just so we could see how the patriotic-colored windsock (sitori6 00019) would look on the Snapshot.  Since it has gold and black as well as red and white, it wasn't a perfect match, but it still looked pretty good.  Prism doesn't include a tail anymore on those parafoil kites, but I was actually glad to remove the one that came with mine.  Packing it is much easier now, and the red ribbon tail was stored away with the purple ribbon tail we got for the Nexus, and the red and yellow plastic tube tails in a stuff sack left over from an X-Kite parafoil Cimmy got tangled in a tree at the kite festival at Columbia Crest.

We had a nice time out at the field today although there was not much of any wind to speak of, as I said.  I'll post more of the photos we took out there in the next post.

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Chugga chugga chugga chugga woo WOO!

Busy day today!

This morning:

Walked to the grocery store (about 3 or 4 blocks) with the family to buy milk and a few other things.  We all ate some of the few other things on the way back.  Put pork roast in the slow cooker to defrost (wouldn't fit).

Late morning/afternoon:

Went to visit my father.  Started up a loaf of bread in their bread machine (and ignored my mother's earlier claims that I shouldn't bother).  Helped Dad put away his IV stand, since he had his B-12 injection and infusion today.  Purchased some clothes online while Cimmy worked more on her D&D world map.  Since Mom and Dad had not finished the black rice pudding we gave them (and Dad was not especially fond of it), Cimmy fed it to the kids instead of taking it back home.  Jak Jr. made a mess of Dad's paper shredder after coming in from the backyard (had the kids playing outside).  Moved kids to the sewing room/playroom/guest room.  Measured myself to make sure I bought the right size i needed.  After I purchased 2 "judo"-length shorts, two dress shirts, and two denim shirts, I traded places with Cimmy and she looked for dresses.  Took measurements for Cimmy to make sure she got the right size.  Cimmy got frustrated because few of the dresses were in her size.  While Dad was paying for Cimmy's dress (he paid for my clothes too; as per an agreement), Cimmy packed the kids into the car.  Jak Jr. started to cry because he hit Cimmy and she smacked him back.

Got home and Cimmy decided that everyone else would come along to my med nurse appointment.  Cimmy called her mother and said she wouldn't be at home and so they agreed we'd bring them the jam jars for the blueberry jam on Saturday (when we come up to the Lower Yakima Valley to see fireworks– and possibly pick gooseberries at their house).  Ran inside quickly to add pickled jalapeƱos and a lime quartered lengthwise to the pork roast, after taking it out of the bag. 

Jak Jr. fell asleep in the car on the way to my appointment.

Went to med nurse appointment.  Found out that the reason why I can't start counseling is I have to see a doctor first and get written permission, being the medical ward of the state and feds that I am. :-P  Also weighed in.  Didn't lose any weight, but didn't gain any either.  Ask for a Dum-Dum lollipop and she reminded me to grab some for the rest of the family.  Cimmy chose root beer, I chose sour apple, Princess had bubble gum flavor and so Jak Jr. got the grape one when he woke up.

Went to the Albertson's grocery store to get something small to eat.  Could not find sunscreen, as employee's directions were crappy.

Got into car and mother-in-law drove up.  She spotted Princess and figured out where we were.  You see, if you aren't totally lost already, my mother-in-law and father-in-law come down every Thursday for… stuff.  As most of my doctors are in the same town, she caught up with us.  She gave Cimmy a disc of Princess's trip to OMSI (so, did my father-in-law add something extra he didn't already upload to Flickr?) and hugs to everyone except me but that was OK since I fit in our Honda Civic like a sardine and I was still sitting in the car.  I'll get mine this Saturday, sure enough.

Went to the drugstore and Cimmy got some sunscreen.  She got spray-on again.  Gah.  Yes, okay, that is the only way to be sure some gets on the kids.

Went down to Columbia Point.  It was a fairly nice day for kite flying– sort of.  Very light, then very calm, then very strong.  Flew the koi stunt kite, the parafoil (Snapshot 1.2), and the delta kite.  Drained the water bottle and refilled it at a faucet while flying the delta kite.  Kids did not want to stay within the playground area very much as usual.  Was trying to avoid Hanford traffic but Cimmy could not last past 6PM (18h), so we skirted out in the last burst.  Some guy in an SUV decided to be an aggressive jerk.  Took the long way home through Columbia Park past the Columbia River.

Got home.  Table was still full of dishes.  Mixed the crushed pineapple and applesauce together to dress the pork roast.  Carved off servings for everyone; we ate at the couch or other chairs in the living room… again.

Called Mom & Dad (since I could not understand Dad's voicemail message on our answering machine).  They loved the loaf of bread; Mom especially.  Princess forgot her bracelet at their house.  Mom wants me to come vacuum.  Agreed with Mom that shopping takes time.  Blah blah blah yadda yadda yakkety schmakety.  Said goodbye.

Did some of my usual things on Runescape.  Remembered I was going to write a post on VOX.  I'm here now.  Day is almost over.  Yeah yeah yeah.

Chugga chugga chugga chugga woo WOO!

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